How to Deal with Persecution

“Closer” Day  15 – Believe it or not, persecution will come

Today’s Reading:  Mark 6:1-29

Reflection Verse:  4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

While Jesus was becoming famous through his ministry, he also  endured a great deal of infamy. Because of his popularity and clothed in humanity, many were not able to see Him and accept Him as the Son of God. Jesus returns to his home town of Nazareth and is not received well. He’s not even accepted by those who watched him grow up and knew him prior to his earthly ministry. They couldn’t see beyond him being Mary’s son, the carpenter.

We also see John the Baptist had endured hatred as a result of his message of the good news of Jesus.  Although King Herod respected John, he gave in to public opinion and carried out his death.

As we embrace our calling to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ, we can expect that we will also face opposition. Jesus himself says that “if the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). Our opposition might also come from those who are closest to us, our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. In spite of it all, we should remember that God has promised to reward our faithfulness (Mark 10:29-30, 1 Pet 3:14), but He does not promise to spare us from persecution. As hard as it is to swallow, it is through our persecution that we more closely identify with our savior (1 Pet 3:17-18). He instructs you to “Bless those who persecute you” (Romans 12:14-21) — treating them with love and compassion. That’s what Jesus would do.

Reflect:

  • Have you ever faced opposition because of Christ?
  • If no, are you ready to face opposition because of Christ?
  • If yes, did you bless or curse the opposition?

Prayer:  Lord, prepare me to face opposition because of your gospel. Give me the courage not to shrink back in the face of persecution. Teach me to bless those who persecute that you may be glorified through it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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